Pro-Israel group opposes Paul’s bill to halt Palestinian aid

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest and most influential pro-Israel lobbying group, opposes a bill from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would halt U.S. aid to Palestinians. 

“Ironically, the group AIPAC is pushing back on this bill. This, to me, is very troubling,” Paul said on a show produced by conservative outlet Newsmax.

The pro-Israel establishment in Washington, the senator said, doesn’t care about aid being contingent on Palestinians’ actions. 

{mosads}“If I were to speak to the 10,000 folks supporting AIPAC, the vast majority of them would support my bill, and yet the political establishment up here thinks we’ve always given foreign aid to the Palestinians and we frankly don’t care what their behavior is,” Paul said. “I think the American people, if they knew that, would be very, very upset.” 

A source at AIPAC confirmed to The Hill the group opposes Paul’s proposal and explained current U.S. law already outlines conditions for aid.

“We are not supporting the Paul bill. We believe the law currently on the books is strong and ensures that aid is contingent on key conditions that help maintain America’s influence, keep Israel secure and advance the peace process. AIPAC supports a cut-off of aid to any Palestinian government that includes an unreformed Hamas, and this is what is provided for in current law,” the group said.

On Tuesday, Paul introduced legislation that would make any U.S. aid to the Palestinians contingent on recognizing Israel’s existence.  

The Stand with Israel Act, S. 2265, would halt $400 million in aid per year to the Palestinian Authority, which operates out of the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently announced a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, which Israel and the U.S. considers a terrorist group.

The State Department has made clear that the peace process can only continue if a unified Palestinian government recognizes Israel, commits to non-violence and obeys previous obligations and agreements.

The reconciliation resulted in a complete standstill in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Tags AIPAC Israel Palestinians Rand Paul
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